May Along the Cataloochee Divide

Cataloochee Divide Map

Cataloochee Elk Map

Running along the eastern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major ridge that the Cherokee called, “Gadalutsi”, for the rows and rows of mountain peaks that surrounded a picturesque valley. The white man changed the name to suit his language, and the area came to be known as Cataloochee. Today that remote area sits above the tourist mecca of Maggie Valley, and can be reached by a number of mountain roads. Within the Park, Cataloochee is home to the first elk herd to inhabit the Appalachians in over 100 years, and contains a number of historic pioneer structures that have been preserved for Park visitors. Cataloochee Creek runs down the middle of the valley.

Cataloochee Elk by Richard Devine
Pencil painting by Florida artist, Richard Devine of the Cataloochee elk.

Ourside the park boundary, Cataloochee is not only a spectacular wall of high mountains, but it is also home to Cataloochee Ranch, a horse farm that has welcomed mountain travelers for 75 years, and also Cataloochee Ski Mountain, the southernmost major ski resort in the Eastern United States. Visiting this area in mid-May, I found rolling meadows with wooden fences and sweeping mountain vistas. A good friend has a cabin along the “Divide”, and visiting her was a real treat.

Winter Cataloochee Elk

Click on the PDF link below to experience this wonderful place…

A Visit to Laura Mullaney

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